Brand Awareness

Updated on April 8, 2024
Article byPrakhar Gajendrakar
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Brand Awareness Definition

Brand Awareness is a measure of consumer’s brand recall and brand recognition. Evaluating and predicting consumer behavior is required for brand management. Therefore, brand awareness is the much-needed feedback for the existing advertising and marketing campaigns.

Further, based on the brand perception, branding strategy is tweaked. Brand Awareness dictates customer loyalty, popularity, and sales. Customer’s perception is the deciding factor behind a particular brand being liked, talked about, and consumed more than its substitute productSubstitute ProductAny alternative, replacement, or backup of a primary product in the market is referred to as a substitute product. It refers to any commodity or combination of goods that might be used in place of a more popular item in normal circumstances without affecting the composition, appearance, or more in the market.

Key Takeaways

  • The ability of a product to be recognized by customers through general hints & clues is called Brand Awareness.
  • There are mainly three types of Brand Awareness – brand recall, brand recognition, brand dominance.
  • Perceived value is underrated. Relatability is an important aspect of making a trademark visible.
  • Marketing a label has evolved from focusing on the product to focusing on the relationship between the customer and the product.

How Does Brand Awareness Strategy Work?

Brand Awareness

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Brand awareness strategy primarily dictates advertisements and marketing. However, for a product to become a brand, the consumers first need to know that the product exists. If consumers cannot even recall the product name, it indicates the ineffectiveness of the current strategy.

Products often become a recognized brand due to a monopoly in a particular category. On the other hand, if the competition is too high, products do not stand out. Being perceived as a reliable brand can be achieved with an effective marketing campaign. For example, consider the following ad campaigns.

  • When someone hears the phrase “Connecting people.” they are likely to associate it with the brand Nokia.
  • The phrase “The best a man can get” would be associated with Gillette.
  • When people come across the signboard, “I’m Lovin It,” most would recallthe trademark McDonald’s.
  • The tag line “Just Do It” would remind people of Nike.

These are famous taglines of popular brands, and almost everyone knows them. Achieving that is the objective of every brand recognition and brand recall strategy. Logos, too, play a similar role. For example, most people would associate four rings together with Audi. Similarly, three parallel stripes of varying lengths would be recognized as the Adidas logo.

So, taglines and logos are hints, and if the consumers can recall the trademark based on those hints, brand awareness is successful.

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Brand Awareness Example

Brand image, especially when it comes to the spirit business, can literally make or break a business. Johnnie Walker has continued successfully for 200 years, and this legacy makes Johnnie Walker a marketing masterpiece. The features of the iconic turnaround are as follows.

  • It started as an obsession for a grocery boy and then became a business empire across 180 countries.
  • But after 150 years of being the most popular whiskey brand in the world, Johnnie Walker faced an identity crisis common to every age-old brand and a disastrous 14% decline in sales.
  • With 27 campaigns running simultaneously, the brand substantially had no real image of itself. Consequently, from the 1980s onwards, the spirit industry inclined towards wine and vodka.
  • Johnnie Walker reinvented itself as a brand. The brand’s marketers realized that whiskey was being viewed as an old man’s drink because the youth did not connect with it.
  • Consequently, Johnnie Walker narrowed down upon young men. A substantial worldwide survey was conducted on men between 25 and 35.
  • Walker realized that the marketing message was self-obsessed. To change that, he said, let’s talk about the customers.
  • The iconic “Keep Walking” campaign did not speak a word about whiskey. Instead, it spoke obsessively about the customers a novel example of brand awareness.
  • In July 2021, Reuters reported a £12.7 Billion net sale for Johnnie Walker.
  • Perceived value is underrated. Johnnie Walker was not trying to make their whiskey tastier or smoother; it’s still the exact same whiskey sold in the exact same model that was sold 100 years back. The only thing that changed was the story of the brand.


#1 – Brand Recall

Brand recall is what establishes a relation between product category and brand. Most people can name three labels in a product category. Some can recall five, and some only one. This feedback shows the level of consumer interest in the product category.

For example, in the non-alcoholic beverage category, three likely brand recalls would be Coke, Pepsi, and Sprite. The effectiveness of branding depends on marketing strategy, advertisements, the catchiness of phrases, product visibility and brand ambassadors.

#2 – Brand Recognition

While walking around in the supermarket, consumers immediately distinguish between products and choose the one they want to buy; that is brand recognition.

Sometimes, consumers are unable to recall the exact name of the product. But, even then, they distinguish it from other substitutes based on taglines, colors, packaging, logos or advertisement. 

#3 – Brand Dominance

When consumers can recall only one trademark in any product category, It is called the top of the mind awareness. With such market dominance, consumers associate the entire product category with the brand, and the brand becomes the product.

For example, when it comes to Jeans, the only brand most people can recall is Levis. Most would know its brand ambassador, the advertisements, and even the song played in the ad. It indicates that consumers trust that brand. That is brand dominance.

How to Measure Brand Awareness?

#1 – Recall Tests

Customers are given simple clues and hints. The time they take to associate hints with a brand name is recorded.

#2 – Brand Attitude

A questionnaire is offered to the consumers about brands with statements about different attributes and aspects are shown to consumers. They answer with a yes, no or neutral choice. Additionally, consumers can write down descriptive feedback.

#3 – Brand Affinity Analysis

Customers express their affinity to a tradename by choosing one of the options provided. The options range from positive, negative, to neutral. This kind of analysis uses options that describe the product. For example, friendly, blissful, frustrating, outdated, innovative and relevant words are shown to customers.

#4 – Brand Salience

Products are placed on supermarket shelves with equal space, and the photos are shown to the customers who are asked to identify them. In addition, the time taken by the customers is recorded. The speed of bran recognition measured by such tests is known as visual salience.  Taglines, packaging, logo, and color are hints that prompt the customers.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

What does Brand Awareness do?

Brand Awareness is feedback on brand recall, brand recognition, brand preference, and popularity. It shows where a product stands in the market.

Why is Brand Awareness important?

Brand Awareness of a product defines a product’s position in the market and helps the company take apt decisions regarding advertising, marketing campaigns, and production.

What are the steps involved in brand recognition?

Trade name recognition involves the following steps; rejection, non-recognition, recognition, preference, and finally, loyalty.

This has been a Guide to Brand Awareness and its Definition. Here we discuss brand awareness types, how to measure, and how it works using examples. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

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